James Hoyer Lead Investigator Al Scudieri banged the gavel signaling the start of his term as the 2012-13 President of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Scudieri was sworn in at the Society’s annual convention in California, in September.
The organization is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and Scudieri says there is much to celebrate. Nearly 8000 former FBI agents are members of the Society, which provides camaraderie and support for former and current agents and their families. “The Society is a great resource for retired and current agents,” said Scudieri. “We’re here to support the members and help each other.”
The Society’s Charitable Foundation handed out several scholarships and awards at this year’s convention to continue its mission of helping FBI families in need, furthering the education of our youth, and recognizing the humanitarian efforts of its members.
Sandra Day O’Connor Keynote Speaker
In addition to being the 75th anniversary of the Society, this year also marks the 40th anniversary for the first women agents entering the FBI, and that provided the perfect backdrop for a very special speaker. “As a special tribute to women in law enforcement, we were honored to have the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, as our keynote speaker, this year.” said Scudieri.
Justice O’Connor recounted her rise through the legal field from her graduation at Stanford Law School in 1952 to being appointed in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan as the first woman to ever sit on the high court. At 82 years of age, Justice O’Connor was spirited and poignant, describing the hurdles she had to overcome. She explained that when she graduated from law school most law firms had never hired a female lawyer before, and as a result, she was offered a secretary’s position, instead. She declined and ended up volunteering as a non-paid attorney to prove herself before being hired. All of this despite being a top-ranking student in her graduating class at Stanford, which included future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Hearing O’Connor speak was a great thrill for James Hoyer Partner Elaine Stromgren, who also happens to be Scudieri’s daughter. And as luck would have it, Stromgren was also able to chat one-on-one with the ground-breaking Justice after her speech and have a photograph taken with her. “I told her it was such an honor to meet her, because ever since I was in law school, I have admired and followed her career,” said Stromgren.
Looking to the Future
Scudieri says the Society is looking forward to a great future, and he plans to make the most of his year as president. “One of the most important changes we’re looking forward to in the future is the attempt to bring in even more members to join the 8000 or so that already belong to the Society. To that end, the order of the day out there is membership recruitment and more benefits for members.”
In addition, Scudieri says their resident historian will chronicle the rich history of the Society’s growth over the past 75 years and bring it to life on the organization’s website for all to learn and enjoy.